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SOLUTION TO FEAR

Posted By:  Mkpoikanke Otu on May 23, 2020  

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Do you know that there is a righteous fear, a normal fear, and a damaging fear? A righteous fear is called “fear of the Lord”. This type of fear is an attitude of love and obedience toward God. It means “reverence, special honour, dread, or trembling toward God in obedience to His commandments”. This is the form of fear that is said to be the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; Job 28:28; Psalm 19:19) and is conjoined with faith, hope, and love. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28); Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience (2 Corinthians 5:11); Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1); Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12); “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,  for our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:28-29). The fear of the Lord is not a slavish, devilish, or satanic dread and trembling. Instead, it is a virtue we set towards God to help us turn away from evil and obey the commandments of God, bearing in mind that He will punish us if we live in sin because He is a righteous and a just God. Thus, we are to cultivate the fear of God deliberately through prayer, teaching, and obedience (Psalm 34:11). It may not occur automatically unlike the normal and damaging fear.

Normal fear occurs automatically as an emotional response to a threat, danger, or distress. There is no doubt that every individual may face a normal fear when he is exposed to a dangerous situation or threat. This is, probably, because every individual has the tendency to be tensed or nervous when confronted with a distressing, traumatic, dangerous, or disturbing event. But any individual who allows fears constrain him from attempting all that he should do has gone from normal fears to damaging fears. 

Damaging fear is a destructive emotional response given to an actual or perceived unpleasant, unwanted, unexpected, and uncomfortable situation, danger, or threat. Sometimes, it occurs when someone remembers the past unpleasant experiences, encounters a challenging situation, meets a new condition, take a new position, enters a new location, anticipate a danger, or anticipate a life-changing experience. This type of fear is often expressed as anxiety, worry, panic, and dread, and it’s discouraged by God. Although God has warned us not to fear in many scriptures, the majority of people are still living in fear at the detriment of their relationship with God, relationship with men, and pursuit of life purpose. The people living in fear are manifesting symptoms that are quite distractive, destructive, harming, and damaging.  

SYMPTOMS OF FEAR

Are you constrain from attempting all that you would like to do? Are you inhibited from doing all that you should do? Are you terrified by getting up before a group? Are you terrified by singing or giving a Speech? Are you terrified by meeting a new person? Are you terrified by standing before a panel? Are you terrified of dreams? Are you terrified about going home? Are terrified by entering a car? Are you terrified by jumping, swimming, driving, of flying? Are you terrified by night? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, it may be possible that you have a damaging fear in your life.

Moreover, the following are the additional symptoms you may notice if there is fear in your life: feeling of unreal occurrence; feeling of strange occurrence; sudden unexpected spells; feeling tense and stressed; difficulty concentrating; jumping mind from one thing to another; frightening fantasies and daydreams; feeling like you will lose control; feeling like you are going crazy; feeling like passing out; feeling of dying; feeling of falling sick; feeling of being alone; feeling of being abandoned; feeling of being foolish before people; feeling of disapproval by people; feeling that something evil is about to happen; feeling of heart palpitation, pounding or skipping; stomach discomfort; restlessness; unwarranted sweating; shaking of the body or trembling; feeling dizzy; feeling of failure; sleep difficulty, breathing difficult, and feeling of weakness.

These symptoms result in different types of fears – anxiety disorder, phobias, panic disorder.

Anxiety disorder

Anxiety disorder is a negative emotion that manifests through feelings of tension, worries, and avoidance behaviour. If it persists, it can lead to an increase in blood pressure. It also refers to the anticipation of future distress (1). Most times, upcoming events, and of the uncertainties make people anxious. But the Lord says “do not be anxious about anything” (Philippians 4:6). So if we obey the word of the Lord we may not notice anxiety in our lives.

Phobia  

Phobia is an abnormal fear of a specific object. The common types are: i) social phobia – the fear that occurs when someone is exposed to social or performance situations such as public speaking, meeting new people, eating in the presence of others, drinking in the presence of others, engaging in social interactions with others, making contributions in class or meetings, asking and answering questions, among others; ii) arachnophobia – the fear of spiders; iii) acrophobia – the fear of heights; iv) aerophobia –the fear of flying; v); agoraphobia – the fear of being outside vi) astraphobia –the fear of thunder and lightning; vii) hemophobia the fear of blood; viii) claustrophobia –the fear of confined or crowded spaces; ix) autophobia –the fear of being alone; x) hydrophobia – the fear of water; xi) ophidiophobia –the fear of snakes; xii) zoophobia –the fear of animals (2).

Panic disorder

Panic disorder is due to recurring unexpected panic attacks. Panic attack refers to sudden outpourings of intense fear or discomfort that reaches uttermost level within minutes. It may occur like a feeling of a sudden overwhelming terror that has no obvious cause. Its physical symptoms may include sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, trembling, choking, dizziness, fear of death, breathing difficulties, and a racing heart (3).

These fears are caused by certain factors that the individual may not be aware of.

CAUSES OF FEAR

Wrongdoing

Usually when people do something wrong fear comes into their lives, and they begin to be afraid of what the consequence of their action might be. It might interest you to realize that the first case of fear identified on earth resulted from wrongdoing. “But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”  And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”  He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”  The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”  Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate” (Genesis 3:9-10). The first thing that happens to anybody who disobeys God is fear. Of course, not fear of the Lord, but fear of the consequence of the wrongdoing. This is why it is not possible to be closer to God when wrongdoing is not settled in our lives. The fear of what might happen to us as a consequence of wrongdoing won’t let us come closer to God. But the good news is that such fear disappears the moment we come to Christ and lives in Him, and we can draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22).  Hallelujah!

Lack of love

This is one of the major causes of fear among people. Unfortunately, many people don't trace their fear of lack of love. Lack of love often exposes people to a feeling of insecurity, anxiety, failure, attack, or problem, and all these are elements of fear. However, it happens to different individuals in diverse ways and times. Some people experience a lack of love during childhood age, others experience at adolescence/puberty, and others experience at adulthood or old age. The timeline does not matter, lack of love may result to fear. Most times, a lack of love is generated when someone feels cheated, unprotected, unsecured, unsaved, lonely, and unloved. If such a feeling is not resolved the individual may test positive to fear.

Psychologically, people hurt, frustrate, or kill someone because of fear of what that person might do to them. So, an armed robber can kill his victim for fear that the victim might arrest him later. Up to 70% of fear that people have is linked to either what someone did to them, or what someone is doing to them, or what someone will do to them, and love can take that fear away. A simple example I can give is that a student who is afraid to do a presentation is possibly experiencing fear because of what he believes his classmate may do if he doesn't perform well. Maybe the classmates have laughed at him previously or made negative comments against him and he believed that he cannot do well enough to please his classmates. Now in this instance, the truth is that the hypothetical student in this context may have a feeling of lack of love from the classmates, and that made him afraid to do a presentation. Thus, if he feels loved adequately, he may not bother whether the presentation will go well or not. He won't even think of not doing well when he is secured in the hand of his classmates. You can prove this by giving the same student chance to do a presentation before his best friends, whom he feels secure. He might do well without any manifestation of fear. On this note, love should be perfected among classmates. There should not be factions and gangs. The class should be one family where mistakes are tolerated and no record of wrong is kept against anybody.

The perception of a lack of love usually results in fear. Another example is that a child who does not perceive that her parents love her may live in fear from childhood. Such a child may grow up with many fears, including fear of the future, fear of the presence and fear of the unknown. She may get into adulthood with fears all over her and she may even get married with fears in her life. Such a person can be set free from fear if she is exposed to adequate love. She can relax and accept that the future is bright, instead of being fearful.

In the marriage context, the couples may live in perpetual fear if they don't receive or perceive adequate love from spouse, in-laws, family, and friends. For instance, a woman that is not receiving adequate love from her husband and her husband's friends and family may have a fear of divorce or separation. That fear may control the way she behaves to the extent that she may be hiding part of her life from her husband. She may hide money, land, and other possessions because she is not secured in the marriage. She may be rude, proud, arrogant, and unsubmissive because of fear. Such a woman can be delivered from fear easily if her husband loves her the way Christ loves the church.

We fear the poor image of ourselves that is revealed in the way the rich people in our environment relates to us. We fear being stigmatized, labeled, slandered, or blackmailed due to what we perceived other people in our environment are doing to us. We fear that the future may not be fine, and there will be hardship, famine, or calamity because of lack of love we perceived between the rich and the poor, or between the government and the populace. Examples upon examples can be given to demonstrate how a lack of love can lead to fear. We can't give all the examples, rather we should work towards perfecting our love.

Information

Information is power, they say. But it tends to cause fear. This has nothing to do with whether the information is true or false, wrong, or right. If it does not agree with someone's situation it can make the person fearful. For instance, most of the information people are sending out recently about COVID-19 (the world’s recent pandemic caused by Coronavirus) is true, but the issue is that the information is creating fear on people. People are now more afraid of death than before, and more people have died of other diseases during this period, even though they were afraid of COVID-19. The point I’m trying to bring out here is that the information we receive tends to make us afraid. This is why we should guard our hearts with all diligence and be careful not to think about fearful information that comes to us. Yes, we may not have control over the receiving of the information, but we have control over the processing of the information. We can refuse not to per attention or process any information that comes into our hearts to cause fear. We can delete the bad news or negative information from our social media platforms, and devices, or turn off the radio/TV channel that is broadcasting the information. Like in the case of COVID-19, we can refuse to follow the statistics of new cases and deaths to protect ourselves from fear. Let us stay away from hearing, reading, and seeing fear. 

Sometimes information about wars, attacks, famine, economic crises, tribulation, diseases, violence, disasters, among other negative events can create fear. But we should decide not to be afraid of the information we received. “Let not your heart faint, and be not fearful at the report heard in the land, when a report comes in one year and afterward a report in another year, and violence is in the land, and ruler is against ruler” (Jeremiah 51:46).

The threat of the enemy

The majority of people are afraid because of the threat of the enemy like it happened to Nehemiah. Also, they spoke of his good deeds in my presence and reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to make me afraid (Nehemiah6:19). Most times, the primary purpose of a threat is to create fear in someone. This is because threatening information itself carries fear. But we are meant to be careful not to allow the threat of the enemies to make us afraid. Note that it is easier to overcome the enemy when we are not afraid than when we are afraid. If someone threatens us and we are not afraid, the person is already failing. But if we are afraid, the person is already winning. Let us be careful not to fear the threat of the enemies.  

What other people fear

People may fear what their friends, family, and colleagues fear. What other people fear tends to make us afraid because fear is contagious. For instance, students usually become afraid of any course, or subject that has an outstanding record of failure. How this works is that the old students will tell the new ones that a particular course is difficult, or that the lecturers are ‘wicked’, and the new students will believe it and start developing fear towards that course or subject. If no intervention is given to the new students, they may fail the course out of fear, and then pass the same information to the next generation of students, and the cycle of failure continues. The best way to handle a situation like this is to refuse to fear what others fear. Moreover, there is a warning regarding this! “For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.  But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (Isaiah 8:11-13). Let us be careful that we don’t join our friends, family, community, nation and the world to fear what they fear.

Negative experiences

 The negative events of life people have encountered tend to make them afraid if those experiences fill their imagination. Most times, negative events or occurrences in people's life create negative emotions that are trapped in the body. From time to time, trapped emotions may overwhelm the individual's imaginations, especially when triggered by current events or situations and create fear. The individual may be afraid of the recurrence of the past negative experience, and its possible effect in the future. For instance, someone that gave birth at cesarean section may be afraid of having a similar experience whenever she is pregnant; someone that was raped may be afraid of being raped again when she remembers the incidence, or she might be afraid of the possible effect of the rape; someone that was maltreated in one relationship may be afraid of being maltreated in another relationship; someone that has witnessed how her father beat her mother may be afraid of being beaten by her husband. Thousands of examples can be given on this issue. The most likely emotion generated from a negative experience is fear. Therefore, people should try as much as possible to get over their negative experiences so they can overcome the associated fears and thoughts of fears.    

 Thoughts

 What people think can cause fear in their life, especially if it does not have a rational basis for a sound argument. Irrational thoughts, in particular, can generate fears of the unknown, fears of the past, and fears of the future. This is why we should learn to cancel irrational thoughts in our hearts as fast as possible so they won’t create fear in our lives. More dangerously we can become what we think about consistently. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). Therefore, it’s important not to think about negative things so we won’t attract them to our lives. But we may convert the negative thoughts to positive ones instead.

Spirit of fear

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)”. This scripture makes it clear that fear is a spirit and that spirit is called “the spirit of fear”. When this spirit comes upon a man, he begins to fear, worry, anxious, or afraid. But it is pointed out that God has not given us the spirit of fear. Therefore, we are to overcome the spirit of fear by keeping the commands of God, knowing that He is in us. The implication of this is that, if do not deliberately reject the spirit of fear in our lives, we may be overwhelmed by it. This is why it is believed, especially in the religious cycle, that someone can be possessed or inflicted by the spirit or demon of fear; and that such person needs deliverance. It may be true! But I think the deliverance the person would need will not be diabolical. Instead, the person would have to believe in Jesus Christ and be baptized into His name; receive the Holy Spirit; put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and keep receiving with meekness the implanted word, which can save his soul (James 1:21).

EFFECT OF FEAR

i.     Fear brings more fears

 There is a tendency for a little fear to lead to more fears. In that sense, fear attracts its kind and build synergy around itself. “Get ready, Jeremiah; go and tell them everything I command you to say. Do not be afraid of them now, or I will make you even more afraid when you are with them (Jeremiah 1:17 GNT). Like God told Jeremiah, if someone is already afraid of doing an assignment, he may be more afraid when he is facing the assignment. This could be because the little fear one has can be intensified and results in more fears. For instance, someone that is afraid to answer the question in the class may go on to be afraid of public speaking and presentations later in life. If someone is afraid of failing an examination, he may be more afraid while he is writing the examination, and that may fail. I have had clients who were afraid that they didn't understand a particular course and during the exams, their body was shivering to the point that they could not answer even one question. This implies that a little fear in their lives generated more fears that stopped them from doing what they would love to do. Therefore, being afraid of a little assignment may lead to being afraid of a bigger assignment, and thereby attracts whatever was being feared.

ii.   Fear attracts what is feared

It is not uncommon to find out that people experience what they feared if they don't overcome fear. For instance, Job said, "For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me" (Job 3:25). If you are careful to analyze your life, you may find out that most of the negative experiences you had are the things you were afraid of. This is because fear has 'a magnetic property' that draws whatever you fear to you. Maybe, that is part of the reasons people who fear witches and wizards mostly complain of being oppressed by them; people who fear failure mostly fail; people who fear dead mostly die; people who fear accidents mostly encounter it; and people who fear sickness mostly fall sick. Like it happened to Brother Job, things that people fear come upon them and things they dread befall them. Thus, we should try and get rid of fear so that we won't attract evil into our lives. We should abide by the word of God and ensure that the only fear and dread we have is God. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (Isaiah 8:13). God is called “The fear of Isaac” (Genesis 31:42) and He should also be called “The fear of Mkpoikanke”. You can choose to put your name there. No other fear should be found in our lives apart from “the fear of the Lord” so we don’t attract any evil into our lives.

Fear weighs people down

Proverbs 12:25 says “Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad”. This is why a fearful person is unable to do what he would like to do or what he should do. It may not be possible to live in fear and fulfill your purpose. Thus, fear can weaken you; it can cause your blood pressure to rise; it can make you sad; it can make you look sorrowful, stressed, and tired; and it can make you have low performance and achievement. You are most likely going to perform below your ability because of fear, to the extent that your set goals may not be achieved and your plans may not be actualized. The power of the Holy Spirit may not be activated for you to perform your task well because of fear. Therefore, it’s important to cast all your fears on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

Fear can lead to eternal dead

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). It’s should be painful that the “fearful” is named among those that will have their eternity in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, the same place that the devil and all his agents will be cast into. This suggests the need to get rid of all fears.  

HOW TO OVERCOME FEAR

So far, I have given counsel regarding how to overcome fear in some specific instances. However, in this section, I have pointed out some general things someone can do to completely free from fears.

Accept that fear is a sin, and ask God to forgive you

There is no good reason to be fearful. Why are you justifying it? Why are you giving reasons why fear must continue in your life? Just accept that fear is a sin, and ask God to forgive you for being fearful. He is faithful and righteous to forgive you if you put your faith in Jesus and confess the cleansing power of His blood. You may pray now! Say “Lord Jesus, I’m sorry for all my fears. I have sinned against you by being fearful. Now I ask that you forgive and cleanse me from all my fears by the blood of Jesus. I believe that Jesus died for my sins, including fears; I believe that He was buried and I believe that God raised Him from death; and He is my Lord. Thank you, Lord, Amen” (1 John 1:9; Romans 10:9-10). Pray this prayer and expect the Holy Spirit to confirm your new relationship with God.

Ask God to fill you with Holy Spirit

“…for you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13). If you have not received the Holy Spirit yet, but you believe in Jesus, you can ask God and He will fill you with His Spirit. The truth is that the Spirit of God needs to come to your life so you can be free from the spirit of fear. Anyone that lives without the Holy Spirit within and upon him is most likely going to live in fear. However, depending on his temperament, the person might still be bold to do certain natural things –like public speaking, fighting for his right, among others. But that wouldn't mean he is not living in fear. Freedom from fear is not limited to being able to do natural things. It’s more of being able to do spiritual things, which can’t be possible without the help of the Holy Spirit. Of course, if someone is bold to handle spiritual things without fear, he should be able to handle the natural things because of the spiritual controls the natural (1 Corinthians 2:15). This is why the Holy Spirit must be continuously stirred up after He has been received.

Stir up the Gift of God in you

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:6-7). The gift of God is the Spirit of God which He put in our inner man to strengthen us (Ephesians 3:16) and make us aware that God and Jesus Christ are abiding with us and we in them. “The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us” (1 John 3:24); This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit (1 John 4:13); And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6). The Spirit of the Father and the Son made us born-again as we keep on believing in Jesus (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18). Therefore, the operation of that Spirit, the gift of God, is meant to transform our fearfulness into faithfulness. But our responsibility is to allow that Spirit to work within us and upon us. We are to fan Him into flame, rekindle, and strengthen Him in our lives by praying in the Spirit, confessing the word of God, and keeping the commands of God in faith.

Expose yourself to the fearful situations by faith

“…but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38). But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin (Romans 14:23).

We are commanded by God to live by faith not by fear and to do everything in faith, not in fear. This is because faith released the power of God to help us do whatever we need to do, while fear can diminish that power. So fear can kill our confidence and render us shameful, while faith can empower us and give us boldness to face the situation that seems fearful. This is more like exposing ourselves to the things which we fear to overcome the fears. For instance, the anxious feelings of danger, failure, disappointment, frustration, and death will disappear when we are facing the things that propelled such feelings by obeying God's commands. In essence, we are being exposed to fear to propel situations when we obey the commands of God, so that we can be free from fear. 

As evidence that you have faith, take action. “In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe — and they shudder. Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless? Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected. So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, and he was called God’s friend. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:17-24). The evidence that we have faith is in the actions we take. Likewise, the evidence that we overcome fear is in the actions we take. So you can take action and do what you could not do because of fear. Now by faith, you can face that situation, while holding unto the promises of God.

Hold unto the promises of God concerning our protection

God has promised to protect us even amid our enemies. He has promised to keep us from the evil ones. Our responsibility is to hold fast the confession of His promises and stop being afraid. But now thus says the LORD … “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior (Isaiah 43:1-3).

Psalm 23:4; “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Luke 21:14-19 "But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.    I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.   You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death.   Everyone will hate you because of me.    But not a hair of your head will perish.  Stand firm, and you will win life". No matter the situation we find ourselves, we are to hold unto the promises of God, instead of giving our thoughts to fear. Thus, when we are afraid, we should put our trust in God (Psalm 56:3). One of the ways we overcome death is by being willing to die (Revelation 12:11; Daniel 3).

Don’t think that the fearful situations will overwhelm you. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Walkthrough every temptation in love.

Walk towards perfecting love

“There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:18). If we have fears in our lives, it means that our love is not yet perfected. We can go on walking towards the perfection of our love for God and one another. Of course, the standard for perfect love is set in the scripture. He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands” (Matthew 22:37-40). From the standard set in this scripture, we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. This means we are to love God with everything in us. We must give Him our live – properties, spouse, children, time, money, intelligence, abilities, potentials, positions, and powers, in obedience to His word. The Lord is one and we must become one with Him by giving Him all in obedience to His commands. For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden, because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith (1 John 5:3-4). The way we express our love for God is by keeping His commands. On the other hand, we are to love one another by giving our lives in service to others, just like God loves us and gave us His Son. When we surrender to serve others, we are loving them and eliminating fears in our lives. Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8).

Thus, we should walk towards perfecting love so that all fears can be cast out in our lives. “Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Let us practice love the way God commanded us to love and we will be free from fear. Instead of waiting for others to love us, we should start to love others in the recommended way and we will be free from fears. However, if one is still feeling anxious or worried while walking in love, one should identify and cancel the anxious thoughts daily.

Identify and cancel anxious thoughts and feelings daily

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Daily, identify, and write down all the negative thoughts that make you feel anxious. Find reasons to cancel those thoughts or replace them with positive thoughts. Offer prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to God daily concerning the things that are making you anxious. You can do that by finding out what the word of God says and confessing it to distract your mind form the negative thoughts and focusses your attention on the positive thoughts (The word of God).

For instance, if the thought that is making you anxious is that you will die, you can cancel that thought or change it to a positive thought by confessing and believing this word “I will not die, but I will live and proclaim what the Lord has done” (Psalm 118:17). You can keep saying this out until the fear of death is gone.

 If you fear that you won't be able to do something well, you can change that thought to "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). If you fear that you will fall sick, change the feeling to a positive one "I will not fall sick, in Jesus' name". If you are already sick and you fear that you will not be healed, change your thought to "Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds” (Isaiah 53:4-5); “He sent His word and healed them; He rescued them from the Pit" (Psalm 107:20). Keep confessing and believing these words until you are healed.

If you are struggling with sin and fear that you may not overcome it, cancel the thought by confessing “For sin shall not have dominion over me: for I am not under the law, but under grace. What then? Should I sin because I am not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! I know that if I offer myself to someone as an obedient slave, I am a slave of that one I obey — either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? But thank God that, although I used to be a slave of sin, I obeyed from my heart that pattern of teaching I was transferred to, and having been liberated from sin, I became enslaved to righteousness … so now I offer myself as a slave to righteousness, which results in sanctification” (Romans 6:14-19).

Also meditate and confess that:  “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for me, training me to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,  waiting for my blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,  who gave himself for me to redeem me from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-13). Keep meditating and confessing these scriptures till you stop sinning completely.

If you are afraid of condemnation, meditate and confess this: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (and I am in Christ Jesus).  For the law of the Spirit of life has set me free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in me, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1-4). Because I walk according to the Spirit, I will not fulfill the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Keep meditating and confessing these words until you are free from fears of sin and condemnation.

If you are afraid of evil, meditate and confess Psalm 23:4; “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” If you are afraid of a plague or a pandemic (like COVID-19) or any other attack, meditate, confess, pray, and practice Psalm 91.

The key point here is to find words that oppose your anxious thoughts, worries, and fears, meditate on them till they become Spirit and Life in your heart. Then, confess and keep confessing and acting on the words until the fear is gone. What is going to happen is that the words you meditate, confess, and act upon will create faith in your heart, and the faith will oppose the fears and gives you boldness, sound mind, and love to face the fearful situations that made you anxious and worried. If you do all that has been said and the fear persists, consult a counsellor.

Consult a trained Spirit-filled Counsellor

Please consult a trained Spirit-filled Counsellor if you do all that has been said and your fear persists. The counsellor will work with you one-on-one to discover the specific cause of your fear and also help you to determine the unique technique you can use to overcome your fear. Even in the application of the technique, the counsellor will still help you to do it accurately until your fear is gone. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety (Proverbs 24:6). I believe you will be able to overcome your fear through the help of a counsellor. But you should be willing to work with the counsellor diligently in obedience to his counselling instructions.

 The counsellor may apply the techniques of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), systematic desensitization and/or the word of God to help a fearful person learn a different way of thinking, and behaving and also to help him be exposed to fearful situations, events and objects gradually to reduce his fear level.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you (Philippians 4:8-9). Amen!

References

1. Association AP. Diagnostic criteria from DSM-iV-tr: American Psychiatric Pub; 2000.

2. Curtis G, Magee WJ, Eaton WW, Wittchen H-U, Kessler RC. Specific fears and phobias: Epidemiology and classification. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 1998;173(3):212-7.

3. McNally RJ. Panic disorder: A critical analysis: Guilford Press; 1994.

© OTUSUM COUNSELLING CLINIC, A SUBSIDIARY OF OTUSUM CONSULT, TRAINING & SERVICES

 


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